June 6 – November 14, 2020

Celebrating 19 Years of Training!

COVID-19 Update:

We’re excited to announce that our Sports Backers Marathon Training Team is still on…we’re just changing things up a bit! MTT will begin virtually on June 6 & 7 and is scheduled to begin meeting in person on July 11 & 12. We’ll provide you with a detailed training schedule, a variety of ways to stay connected, and the same expert coaching advice. Now more than ever we all need community and encouragement! Even though we will start virtually, MTT has always been about the people and we know this group will band together! And when we’re safe to resume group runs on July 11 & 12, the reunion will be oh so sweet!

We’ll be adding the following perks to MTT:

  • How To Videos
  • Fitness & Post Run Recovery Videos
  • SAG “care package” mailed to you

Updates as a result of COVID-19

  • Marathon Training Team Participant Options
    • Participate in the event from November 7-22
    • Participate in the event virtually
    • Defer your 2020 Sports Backers Marathon Training Team entry to the 2021 Marathon Training Team until August 31 at no cost
    • Donate your full training team registration fee to Sports Backers by completing this form by August 31
  • Extended registration to September 1 and eliminated the price increase, keeping the price at $165 for the remainder of the registration period.
  • No large group meetings; participants will be divided into smaller sub teams
  • Staggered group run start times and multiple start locations, tentatively beginning with in-person training July 11/12
  • Limited SAG support – we encourage participants to always bring their own hydration and nutrition
  • Further alternatives, modifications, and new approaches possible based on future guidelines to guarantee health and safety of runners
  • Virtual check ins from your coaches
  • If you choose to wait to register for MTT you should be able to comfortably meet the following fitness levels (at no more than an average pace of 16 minutes per mile):
    • 10 miles by July 4
    • 12 miles by August 15
    • 14 miles by September 12

Marathon Training Team Fees

Because of the pandemic, we have eliminated the price increase and extended registration until September .

Many of my running partners and close friendships have been developed as a result of MTT! It motivates me on weekends throughout the summer to stick to my plan which has resulted in me achieving many of my goals.
– Brittany Easter
The teams, coaches, and information we received were all amazing and exactly what I was hoping when I signed up. This was my first year and I knew nobody going in, but came away with a bunch of new running friends and a lot more knowledge about marathon training/running.
– Chris Strauss
Through MTT, my circle of friends has grown significantly. I now have a group of friends that I regularly hang out with and run with during the off season as much I do during the training season.
– Erin Folkenroth

Marathon Training Team registration includes:

  • 23-week training program starting virtually on Saturday, June 6 or Sunday, June 7 (you choose the day), with a detailed schedule for you to follow
  • Organized and supported weekly group runs on your choice of Saturday or Sunday mornings (in person runs to tentatively start July 11 & 12)
  • Personal guidance from our veteran team of experienced coaches
  • A special Sports Backers Marathon Training Team shirt and a technical race shirt
  • FREE entry in the 43rd VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 14 and all associated race benefits
  • Special Race Day support along the course from coaches
  • Clinics on subjects like nutrition, running attire, and other related topics
  • How To Videos
  • Fitness & Post Run Recovery Videos
  • SAG “care package” for you


There are two ways to register :

  1. Register online
  2. Print out an entry form and mail it in with a check.

Please note: Training Team entry fees are non-refundable and entries are non-transferable, no exceptions.  Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate.

Already signed up for the marathon and want to participate in the training team? No problem! Just click here on switching-races and follow the prompts. The system should only charge you the difference between the marathon and the training team, please contact us if it charges you the full amount. If you originally paid by check, you can send a check made out to Sports Backers for the difference in price between the training team fee and your marathon entry fee you’ve paid for the event. Just indicate if you’d like to train on Saturday or Sunday, with the early (6:30 a.m.) or late (7 a.m.) group, and whether you’d consider yourself a 500 miler (novice) or 700 miler (intermediate). Also include your most recent 10k time.

Income Based Rate

At Sports Backers, our mission is to inspire people from all corners of our community to live actively.  Engaging underserved populations is one of our core values and one way we act on this value is by offering Income Based Rates for all of our training teams.  These special rates are offered to those who qualify and would otherwise not be able to participate.

Those who make $25,000 or less annually or receive proven TANF, Food Stamp or Energy Assistance Benefits from Social Services and are not currently claimed as a dependent by anyone making above $25,000 annually are eligible for a special $30 rate for the Marathon Training Team.  Please provide one of the following documents for verification:

  • Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services
  • Most Recent Tax Return

For those that qualify for the income-based entry fee, please come by our office or mail the completed mail-in entry form and your verification document to Sports Backers, 100 Avenue of Champions, Richmond, VA 23230

For more information, please email [email protected].

Entry Confirmation

Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.

Additional Info

If you can’t find the information you are looking for below, please email the head coaches.

Important Rules & Notes

  • Training Team entry fees are non-refundable, no exceptions. Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate or are unable to complete the program.
  • Due to COVID-19 we have extended the deferral deadline and waived the fee. You may defer your 2020 Sports Backers Marathon Training Team entry to the 2021 Marathon Training Team through September 1 at no cost. After that date, there will be no more deferrals. Please note that your free entry in the 2020 VCU Health Richmond Marathon, by itself, may not be deferred to the 2021 event.
  • If you choose to run the Richmond Half Marathon or Allianz Partners Richmond 8k, rather than the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, on November 14 you may do so for no additional cost. You will be able to make this switch beginning in late June through the expo.
  • Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in any of the events connected to the VCU Health Richmond Marathon.

Head Coaches

Carrie Parker

Carrie Parker
Carrie helps lead the Team, bringing with her eleven years of experience with the MTT and five years coaching the YMCA 10k Training Team. She actively supports and trains with many athletes within our local community. Carrie is certified as an RRCA Adult Distance Running Coach. She’s deeply grounded with the desire to see everyone get active and happy, regardless of the speed or the distances…so let’s get moving!

Jake Wiseman

Jake Wiseman
After helping a co-worker train for her first 10K in 2005 with the YMCA, they both decided to tackle the ½ marathon. For Jake, he decided to use the Marathon Training Team to get him to his goal. He figured if he could survive the training for the Half Marathon, then he might stick around for the Full. Stick around he did. A few MTT seasons later, he was asked to be an Assistant Coach. And a few more after that, he was Head Coach of his own team. Jake is certified as an RRCA Adult Distance Running Coach. With 20+ marathons, ultras, multi-sport, and relay races under his belt, Jake still enjoys the odd 2 AM run in the woods or 10 miles on snow covered streets. After 10+ years of coaching with MTT and other 10K training programs, Jake looks forward to helping his fellow coaches motivate even more people reach their goal of an amazing marathon finish.


Kevin Burcham

Kevin Burcham
After attempting to train for a marathon solo, Kevin found the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team and has been with it for 18 years, 11 years as a coach. MTT helped Kevin complete 20 plus marathons, achieve his goal of running a sub three hour marathon, and qualifying for numerous New York City and Boston Marathons. Kevin is certified as an RRCA Adult Distance Running Coach. Helping runners find success, however they define it, is his main goal.

Virtual To Start; In-Person Tentatively Scheduled for July 11/12

This year we will begin virtually on June 6 and 7 and are tentatively scheduled to host in-person group runs beginning Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. In order to safely meet and run, we are exploring several options. As we get closer to our in-person meeting date we will firm up these details and share immediately.

Fitness Requirements to be on the Marathon Training Team

There is a 7-hour time limit to complete the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, so that requires maintaining an average pace of about 16 minutes per mile for the entire 26.2 miles. Based on the industry standard pace calculators, comparable times would be about 3 hours, 20 minutes for a half marathon or 1 hour, 30 minutes for a 10k. Each participant should be able to comfortably finish four miles several times per week while primarily running prior to starting the Training Team on June 6/7. We will monitor the progress of all of our runners during the early part of our training to make sure you have the fitness to complete the marathon in the required time. You must be at least 16 years of age to participate. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a parent/guardian registered for training team and present for all training runs.

If you choose to wait to register for MTT you should be able to comfortably meet the following fitness levels (at no more than an average pace of 16 minutes per mile):

  • 10 miles by July 4
  • 12 miles by August 15
  • 14 miles by September 12

Clinics and How To Videos

There will be clinics held on everything from injury prevention to nutrition to shoes. A schedule of these events will be given to registered Marathon Training Team members. These clinics will meet virtually until we are safely able to meet in person. In addition to clinics this year, we will offer “How To” videos for all participants to have access to, which will allow us to cover a further range of topics (i.e. dynamic stretching, safe running, and hydration)  that enhance your training and better prepare you for Race Day.